Drivin’ Dirt Roads Late at Night

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In the life of this SmallTownGirl…

If you have never driven around on a dirt road late at night, you are missing out. It may seem like a “scary” thing to do, but honestly, there is nothing more freeing. Some of the best memories of my life have been driving around in the dark on a back road. There’s a lot to be said about the simple things in life.

Last weekend, my best friend Carley and I decided to ride around and talk. If we have something semi-important to talk about, it’s not uncommon for us to do that (and by uncommon, I mean we do it every time). Before we realized what we were doing, we had hit onto a dirt road.

Now both of us being from small towns, this is just a natural progression of our “talking drives.” We both just feel comfortable in the dark where you can see the sky. Where you can get away from the hustle and bustle. Where you can see every star in the sky. It’s soothing to both of us to be able to go into that environment.

I think it’s important for everyone to take a break from their busy lives and just take a few minutes to appreciate what is going on around them, not just what all they need to get done for the day, week, month or year.

There are so many lessons I have learned since moving away from my hometown. Some of them are the ones that I learn from certain experiences a larger town has afforded me. Other lessons are lessons that I actually learned at home, but I never truly appreciated them until I didn’t have them at my disposal any more.

If you have never driven around on a dirt road late at night, you are missing out. It may seem like a “scary” thing to do, but honestly, there is nothing more freeing. Some of the best memories of my life have been driving around in the dark on a back road. There’s a lot to be said about the simple things in life.

The best example of having fun like this was this past weekend. My best friend Carley and I decided to ride around and talk. If we have something semi-important to talk about, it’s not uncommon for us to do that. Before we realized what we were doing, we had pulled onto a dirt road.

We’ll talk more next week. Until then, reach for the stars without forgetting about your roots.

Going Home for Spring Break Can Still Be Fun

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From the life of this SmallTownGirl…

Spring Break. The time in spring semester, when co-eds get an entire week off to do whatever they want.

While a lot of my friends made a wonderful little road trip down the to the magical place, Destin, Florida. I have only managed the trip once, but I fell in love with the beach on my trip. It was nice, warm and beautiful.

This Spring Break however, I went home. I didn’t get to live the glam life of some of my friends, but I did manage to have a great time! I originally simply planned on going home, hanging out with my family and working on some work so I could get ahead.

Little did I know that my grandmother (Mamoo) and my mother were scheming to get all the women in our family together for a little family gathering. We ended up going down to Oklahoma City to stay in a hotel, shop and just do whatever we wanted. The woman in the family hadn’t done anything together in while, so it was nice. We used to rent a condo in Branson, Misssouri, but once we got bigger, everyone’s schedules didn’t really work out.

While our trip was not extravagant by any means, I still had a great time hanging out with my family! It made me realize once again that it doesn’t matter where you go or what you do. Memories consist of those you make them with, and the feeling you had when you were with those people. My family are those people for me. I don’t know if that makes me “small town,” normal or weird, but that’s how I feel.

We’ll talk more next week. Until then, reach for the stars without forgetting about your roots.

The Excitement of Basketball from a Big Sisters Perspective

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From the life of this SmallTownGirl…

I got back yesterday from watching my sister at a basketball tournament. Everyone makes fun of me for being so involved in my sister’s lives. I think it’s a wonderful thing that I’m so involved in their lives.

I ended up keeping stats for the team this weekend. I originally only did it to keep track of the score because the scoreboard was broken on the court we were playing on. After that I kept all the stats for the rest of the games.

I was surprised to find that my 11-year-old sister averaged 5 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and have 5 blocks for the day. I don’t know about you, but I feel like that’s pretty good for a girl that age. All the girls on her team did a great job as well.

I liked going not only to support my sister, but also to support the different girls that Morgan plays basketball with. It might just be me, but I feel like being from a small town, supporting sports of any sort is a big deal. I think it’s great how a community can rally together to support a team. It also allows for each fan member know whose sister/brother they are and who they’re related to. It’s a great way to show support!

We’ll talk more next week. Until then, reach for the stars without forgetting about your roots.

The Bright Lights of a Director’s Life

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From the life of this SmallTownGirl…

I absolutely love Greek life. I love everything about it (well almost, I despise the stereotypes, but other than that I love it).

One of my favorite things about Greek life are the singing, dancing shows. This year, I was elected to be a director for my chapter’s Spring Sing performance. I am extremely excited about it! I have not been a director since Freshman Follies my sophomore year. Being a director is not only a great way to give back to my chapter, it is also a great example of leadership for my resume.

Spring Sing is another Greek show. But instead of truly dancing, this performance is done on risers. It’s basically a show choir 6-minute show. It’s a lot of fun, but as always being a director, it will be a lot of hard work. I know that while I already have a busy schedule with, it is about to get a whole lot busier.

I know that had I not been encouraged to join a sorority by the assistant librarian at my high school my senior year, I would not have the opportunity to have such leadership roles anywhere else on campus. I am so thankful to have Ms. Askew in my life. She has been a mentor to me from the start. I know that had I not been pushed, I would not have thought to go Greek upon coming to college. I thank my lucky stars all the time that her and her husband moved into town my senior year of high school. Honestly, Mr. and Mrs. Askew moving to my hometown could be the single most beneficial thing that I might have gained from my high school experience.

We’ll talk more next week. Until then, reach for the stars without forgetting about your roots.

What’s Varsity Review Again??

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From the life of this SmallTownGirl…

I just got done with this thing called Varsity Review (also known as VR). For all of you that don’t know what that is, it’s basically a singing, dancing skit where a fraternity and sorority match up to compete against each other at Oklahoma State. It’s kind of a big deal throughout the Greek community (Yes I’m annoying about how much I talk about Greek life, you’ll figure this out, the more you read my blog).

I’ve spent the last four months of hours and hours a week practicing. At times I’ve hated it, but honestly, some of the best memories of my life in my sorority have came from doing Greek shows, particularly VR.

So you want to know how this ties into my whole SmallTownProblems situation. Well, in my hometown, I never really got to be in any productions because we didn’t have a theater department. The most acting I was allowed to do was be in the musicals that the (small) vocal department put on. I took dance growing up, but those lessons stopped once I got to junior high and sports became “more important.”

Shows have been a great way for me to express the side of myself that I didn’t get to in high school. I get to act and sing and dance. I get to be free from what people will think if I do those things. That’s a great example of how  moving away from my hometown has helped me grow as an individual. I’ve been able to try and experience new things that I would have never gotten to experience otherwise.

We’ll talk more next week. Until then, reach for the stars without forgetting about your roots.

The Magical World of Event Planning

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From the life of this SmallTownGirl…

This semester, I am in an Event Planning class. I absolutely LOVE it, but not AT ALL for the reasons I thought I would.

When I got in the class, I thought it’d be a lot of lecture and teaching us what to do in planning events. I could not have been more wrong. There has been very little instruction, and A LOT of hand on learning. We’ve basically been thrown into the water in a sink or swim situation.

Thankfully so far I have managed to swim (even though I’m hopeless at swimming in real life). I have been able to take many event projects on and run with them, much to my surprise and much to the dl

This past weekend, my Event Planning class helped plan and sponsor a series benefit concerts helping the Ad Club at Oklahoma State. It was the Creative Lightening Awards Music Festival that was in honor of Monica Dudley. I was surprised by how involved I got in the event. I sat in on several meetings with the venue personnel, final set-up and miscellaneous meetings. I even impressed my teacher enough to be the only Executive member for the event that was not in Ad Club.

For me, this event was a real eye opener.  It let me see the ins and outs of what event planning really takes. It allowed me to become passionate about something that I would have never realized I would love doing. Had I not taken this class, I would have probably never been exposed to some of the experiences of planning an event that I now know how to do. I sure would’ve never been offered those type of opportunities in my hometown.

We’ll talk more next week. Until then, reach for the stars without forgetting about your roots.

The Tortures of the Foreign Languages

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From the life of this SmallTownGirl…

A foreign language is something that most students need to have so they can graduate high school, college or both.

Unfortunately, I am a student that falls into this category. I had zero, ZERO foreign language in high school. They offered Spanish I my freshman year of high school over a TV chat, and then Chinese over the Internet my senior year. I didn’t have a chance to take any consecutive foreign languages; they simply weren’t offered at my school. To fulfill my requirements to graduate, I took computer classes instead.

While I enjoyed my computer classes and even learned a lot in them, they did not help me out very much in college. For my degree, I have to take 10 hours of foreign language to graduate because I didn’t have any foreign language credits from high school.

Being enrolled in a five-hour class that I know nothing about has been extremely taxing as a student with a full plate. I know it’s not necessarily my high schools fault that I didn’t have foreign language in high school, but it definitely is a disadvantage for required classes. If foreign languages classes are mandated for most majors in college, there needs to be more funds dedicated to that department.

I love my high school for many reasons, but being prepared for college is not one of them. I had some great times and memories from my high school days. I wish I had a few more memories that revolved around academics, but you can’t win all your battles. There’s a real need for more attention brought to the need for foreign language in schools, especially small, tight budgeted, rural school districts.

Small town life is great, but I’m always experiencing new things outside of it.

We’ll talk more next week. Until then, reach for the stars without forgetting about your roots.